Patellofemoral syndrome; Knee pain – chondromalacia
Definition of Chondromalacia patella
Chondromalacia patella is the softening and breakdown of the tissue (cartilage) that lines the underside of the kneecap (patella).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Chondromalacia of the patella occurs in adolescents and young adults.
Signs and tests
The doctor will perform a physical examination. The knee may be tender and mildly swollen, and the kneecap may not be perfectly lined up with the femur (thigh bone).
Temporarily resting the knee and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin may help relieve pain. Physical therapy, especially quadriceps strengthening and hamstring stretching, may be helpful.
Chondromalacia patella usually improves with therapy and use of NSAIDs. For the few people who need it, surgery is successful most of the time.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/13/2010